Complement your searches with Yolink

Yolink is a tool designed to complement the work flows associated with internet research.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

Yolink as a search aid
To get started with Yolink, add the Yolink plugin to your browser. It works with Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. As you explore a document, Yolink allows you to scan information associated with hyperlinks  so that you don’t have to leave the Web page you’re currently on to investigate them.

If you search for text rather than links, you can use Yolink to perform a more versatile search and find operation (e.g., choosing which particular combination of keywords you’d like to find).

Yolink also allows you to connect searching with online document creation, providing an easy way to collect data to a Google Doc or spreadsheet.

Finally, Yolink lets you to connect to EasyBib, a citation creator. to create citations in MLA style (free) or APA or Chicago Style (available in the less free version of EasyBib). One caveat: EasyBib won’t always be able to extract all of the information you need to create a citation (e.g., source, authors), so you’ll often find yourself going back to the original article to pull out this information.

Yolink as an information display tool
Yolink recently added a  tool called PostPost that allows you to organize information on your Facebook page in a newspaper-like display. You can sort content by type (i.e., articles, videos, images, etc) or  search for specific keywords, while retaining the social aspects of Facebook (the ability to like and comment).

Instructional strategies

If you  are doing quite a bit of internet research, Yolink creates certain efficiencies you may appreciate. However, if you’re an instructor demonstrating Yolink’s compatibility with Google docs, I’d use this as a teachable moment to talk to students about plagiarism and the metes and bounds of fair use and copyright law, emphasizing that Yolink can be useful to collect information but should not be a way to automate expression by cutting and pasting from other works. While the link to EasyBib is also a nice feature of Yolink, I do think if using a particular citation style is part of your profession, you should learn that style.

But enough of my curmudgeonly-ness, Yolink’s an interesting tool. The ability to readily find and assess the deeper linked content associated with a Web page may be a subtle time-saver, but in the long run it’s quite helpful. Additionally, the ability to create spreadsheets when you’re working with multiple internet docs is a big time saver. Yes, you will have to edit and rearrange content, but you can’t beat automating the starting process. I’m less enamored of the Facebook application, but that’s because I’m less enamored of Facebook generally. However, Yolink offers a way to address some of the poor design features of Facebook.

Try the tool for yourself. It’s easy enough to add to your browser: see if the efficiencies offered are one’s you really need and value.

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